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Madame Bovary is a Universal text

Uploaded by mshiraev on Mar 07, 2005

GUSTAVE FLAUBERT ONCE REMARKED, “Madame Bovary, c’est moi” (“Madame Bovary is me”). On the surface, this comment seems ridiculous; the circumstances of Flaubert’s life have nothing in common with those he created for his most famous character. However his reasons for writing and the techniques he administers in portraying his characters make it obvious that he was the basis for the character of Emma Bovary. Of course he failed to add that so are you and I, we are all the victims of unrealized or unrealisable dreams.

Written in the mid-nineteenth century “Madame Bovary” is the portrait of a female adulterer who seeks freedom from a dull, disappointing life and ultimately is destroyed by her selfishness and sin. Emma is a country girl educated in a convent and married to Charles Bovary (a dull and unremarkable doctor) at a young age. She holds idealistic romantic fantasies, longs for sophistication, sensuality, and passion, and lapses into fits of extreme boredom and depression when her life fails to match the soppy romantic novels she treasures. Hoping that this marriage will fulfil her romantic and sexual fantasies ands solve all her problems she is greatly disgusted by the monotony and lack of passion.
The Bovary’s meet Homais, the town pharmacist, a pompous windbag who loves to hear himself speak. Emma also meets Leon, a law clerk, who, like her, is bored with rural life and loves to escape through romantic novels. When Emma gives birth to her daughter, motherhood disappoints her—she had wanted a son—and she continues to be downhearted. Romantic feelings blossom between Emma and Leon; however Emma feels guilty and throws herself into the role of a dutiful wife. Leon grows tired of waiting and departs to study law in Paris. His departure makes Emma miserable.
Soon, at an agricultural fair, a wealthy neighbor named Rodolphe, who is attracted by Emma’s beauty, declares his love to her. He seduces her, and they begin having a passionate affair. Emma is often indiscreet, and the townspeople all gossip about her. However, refusing to elope with her, Rodolphe leaves her. Heartbroken, Emma grows desperately ill and nearly dies.
By the time Emma recovers, Charles is in financial trouble from having to borrow money to pay off Emma’s debts and to pay for her treatment. Still, he decides to take Emma to the opera in the nearby city of Rouen. There, they encounter Leon and...

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Uploaded by:   mshiraev

Date:   03/07/2005

Category:   Madame Bovary

Length:   5 pages (1,039 words)

Views:   2253

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